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Towards “green” viscoelastically prestressed composites: Cellulose fibre reinforcement

Qin, Yang; Fancey, Kevin S.


Yang Qin


With growing concerns over environmental issues, fibre reinforced composites based on renewable, biodegradable low-cost cellulosic/cellulose fibres increasingly attract interest. This paper reports on the first study to produce viscoelastically prestressed polymeric matrix composites (VPPMCs) using regenerated cellulose/viscose continuous fibres. The aim was to demonstrate that this prestressing technique could improve the mechanical properties of a cellulose fibre reinforced composite without the need to increase section mass or thickness. By investigating the viscoelastic properties of cellulose yarn, a suitable load was applied to subject the fibres to tensile creep. The load was then released and the loose yarns were moulded into a polyester resin matrix. Following matrix solidification, the viscoelastically recovering fibres imparted compressive stresses to the matrix. The mechanical properties of these cellulose fibre VPPMCs were investigated by tensile, three-point flexural and Charpy impact tests. Under the creep conditions investigated, the VPPMC samples demonstrated up to 20% increase in tensile strength and modulus and a comparable improvement in flexural properties, compared with control (unstressed) counterparts. Nevertheless, the prestress effect reduced impact toughness by ~30%, by impeding matrix crack formation and promoting fibre fracture. Based on findings from this paper, all-green VPPMCs may be achieved in the future by considering potentially suitable green resins.


Qin, Y., & Fancey, K. S. (2018). Towards “green” viscoelastically prestressed composites: Cellulose fibre reinforcement. Composites. Part B, Engineering, 154, 439-448.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 23, 2018
Online Publication Date Aug 27, 2018
Publication Date Dec 1, 2018
Deposit Date Sep 27, 2018
Publicly Available Date Aug 28, 2019
Journal Composites Part B: Engineering
Print ISSN 1359-8368
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 154
Pages 439-448
Keywords Polymer-matrix composites (PMCs); Residual/internal stress; Mechanical testing; Viscoelasticity
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the accepted manuscript of an article published in Composites part B: engineering, 2018. The version of record is available at the DOI link in this record.


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